the right size truck

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by danlawnser, Jun 17, 2001.

  1. danlawnser

    danlawnser LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 258

    I am getting ready to buy a truck and I cannot figure out if full size is the way to go or if I should go with a Dodge Dakota. I will be pulling a 16 ft. trailer. The reason I am stuck on this is because I have been told that a full size will do a number on a yard when your mulching. please help me. I have read all the other threads and was hoping to hear your opinions. thanks
  2. hobbes

    hobbes Banned
    Messages: 78

    Dakota's a good size but I had alot of problems with mine, eventually traded up to a F 150, more for reliability than size.
  3. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    I can probobly take a 20 ton dump up onto a lawn and do less damage then I've seen people do with S-10's or F-150's.

    If your careful with a full size pickup you won't even know you were there when you leave.

    Don't let that stop you from going full size, please!

    You won't regret the choice later on down the road.
  4. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    if your going to be towing a 16 ft trailer loaded up everyday, i dont recommend a dodge dakota. i think you should at least jump up to a full size chevrolet 1500 or a ford f 150. chevy has a real nice feature on their trucks. they have tow haul buttons that shift at 20 and 40 mph instead of 10 and i think 25 mph. i dont know if ford offers that, but if youre going to be towing that large of a trailer, go full size. you shouldnt worry about wrecking lawns either. if your careful. i worked with one guy who would back a f350 and a dual axle dump trailer full of mulch onto lawns and not damage them. bring two plywood sheets with you if youre worried about it.
  5. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Messages: 1,484

    when u go to a big complex and see the nice mulch jobs all over the place, u think they use dakotas? no i think they use big stake beds, dont see anything wrong with those lawns now do u, bigger the better
  6. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 749

    Dont buy a dakota. THe trannies in those trucks are junk. I have never heard a happy dakota owner. Go full size, at least an f-150, but if you want to plow roads, go 3/4 ton, like an f-250. I almost bought a dakota, becuase i thought it would be good for plowing (small and manueverable (sp?)), but dodge wont warentee them if you plow with them! (I think its because they know the tranny is junk, but they wont admit that). If you are worried about sinking into a lawn, bring boards, or use some nice wide tires... just my .02, -michael
  7. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,006

    For your primary truck a full size is a necessity.
  8. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    my little ram has driven into yards for tree debri or bulk issues ...just go slow .....

    get the full size in the long wrong you'll be happier :->
  9. Esby

    Esby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    I pull my 16 ft trailer, loaded down every day with my 94 dodge dakota. It works alright but I am thinking of upgrading to a full size this next spring. I mow the grass of the Chevorlete dealership and the two owners here in town and they always tell me how I should come in and they'll pitch me a deal on a new truck.....just waiting for this one to give up. I have put in two new trannys....yes they are ****...but everything else on its been great. I would not recommend buying an older dakota(bad trannys).......however I believe that the new ones have better trannys....test drive and see what you like.
  10. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    I would say do a search but I already did it:


    If you buy a gas truck for $20,000 @ 8.5% for 60 months your payments will be $410.33 a month. If you buy a diesel for say $26,000 (more than the $4400 difference) with the same terms your monthly payment would be $533.43, a difference of $123.10.

    Now, say the gas truck gets 9MPG pulling that trailer (if you are lucky) and you go 1000 miles per month and gas is $1.48 a gallon, your fuel cost is 164.44.

    With diesel at 13MPG with 1000 miles per month and cost at $1.39 a gallon fuel cost will be $106.91. ($57.53 per month savings v/s gas)

    The diesel cost you overall $65.47 more per month, if you drive more miles than that, your difference will be less and more towards break even. I drive about 2500 miles per month and my diesel cost me about $10 per month. Resale value will be much better, power is much better, and if you plan on keeping your "work" truck long diesel is the way to go!

    Good luck with whatever you choose.


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